Structure fires erupt throughout area |

Structure fires erupt throughout area

Gregory Crofton and Timothy Bowman

— Friday 3:54 a.m. Possible arson – A fire that is being investigated as suspicious destroyed a brick and wood house at 1069 Glenwood Way. The blaze also caught a house next door on fire. Its back and roof were partially burned.

The fire started in the front room of the house and caused an estimated $370,000 in damage, said South Lake Tahoe Fire Captain Brad Piazzo. He said firefighters focused their efforts on saving the neighboring home.

“The larger home was pretty much a loss,” he said. “We had four attack lines from two engines and we had a large-nozzle hose that put out 500 gallons a minute. Regular hoses put out 120. It took us about 45 minutes to control the fire.”

South Lake Tahoe Police detectives are investigating the case. Police said neighbors reported seeing a dark-colored car at the house the night of the fire. The owners of the home drive a white car, police said.

— Friday 1 p.m. Unknown cause – A fire caused $75,000 in damage to a Meyers home on Mt. Shasta Circle.

Lake Valley and South Lake Tahoe firefighters called the U.S. Forest Service to help with wildland fire control after they assessed the blaze and determined there was a serious risk of the fire spreading to a wooded lot adjacent to the home.

“We had a lot of fire on the exterior of the home,” said LVFD Chief Brian Schafer. “We called the Forest Service because it was windy and there was a good chance and it could spread. We had a full wildland response. (The Forest Service) got the wildland under control and then helped us with the exterior of the building.”

The fire apparently started on the back deck of the home, and the cause is unknown. Schafer said the owner of the home, Robert Twomey, of Walnut Creek was out of town. The house was undergoing renovation before the fire.

“This house is under construction,” Schafer said. “It is being remodeled. It is at the painting stage and it was almost complete. It looks like (the fire) started on the exterior on the back deck.”

Rick Brower of the U.S. Forest Service said he was happy about the interagency cooperation displayed by LVFD, the Forest Service and SLTFD in putting out the fire.

“What we do on things like this is assist each other as much as possible,” Brower said. “Our primary concern is the community. Just clobber this stuff, that is the key to keeping things from going out of control. We don’t normally do structures but we will come in and help any way we can.”

— Saturday 3:30 p.m. Cigarette ignites clothing – A fire that started in a room at a motel alongside U.S. Highway 50 caused about $10,000 worth of damage.

Firefighters contained the blaze to one room at the El Nido Motel, but that room had to be gutted and was a total loss, said South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Bill Gilliland.

Gilliland said the fire started because a discarded cigarette ended up on a pile of clothes. A motel manager reported the blaze. The room was not occupied by guests when it caught fire, Gilliland said.

— Sunday 11:18 a.m. Possible arson – A car parked in a dirt alley at the rear of Hatch Electric on Eloise Avenue caught fire and burned a fence and shed next to it. A motor boat parked nearby narrowly escaped the flames with only its blue plastic covering partially melting from the heat.

“It’s suspicious,” said South Lake Tahoe Fire Chief Bill Gilliland. “There were juveniles seen in the area prior to that.”

The car, a 1980 model sedan, was towed away and is expected to be key to a police investigation. By the time firefighters arrived flames had engulfed the car, a fence and a pine tree. Neighbors helped contain the fire with garden hoses prior to the arrival of the fire department.

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